My Initial Thoughts:
I felt like my position sucked. I look tense, I was leaning forward, clutching with my hands, and let my legs slide out in front of me or my butt behind me. (Maybe it was both. Sometimes with Stinker it is hard to tell and I do both depending on the moment). At the time I didn't feel like I was tense, but I look tense. So I need to work on that. I think things got better around 7:00. The canter was a bit of a mess. I couldn't feel what lead he was on, it was tense, and felt like he was about to bolt. At some points it felt like his front was doing one thing and his hind doing another. Overall, there were come good moments in there, but I didn't feel like I did a very good job riding for the most part.
Your biggest homework this week is going to be getting the two of you to have a conversation with his face. You are going to start off either in the halt or on the ground. Either use treats or just the reins and I want to see you be brave and touch his face. That means his nose to his belly and he needs to respect that. If you start on the ground, eventually work towards doing it on his back. We need him to be OK with you touching his face and you need to be OK doing it. Then when that feels easy peasy, the walk warm up is going to be 10 m circle right then left. When you trot you will keep the same give (with the head in mind).
Second, all canter transitions and canter work are to be done in two point. This probably means you will be doing shorter canter lengths, but I want to see how you guys organize without your seat. It is going to be all core, leg, and some rein.
Third, I think you look much more centered in your energy overall. Even in the beginning I was happy with how you didn't spend 5 minutes in that tense mode. You were making the right choice trying to unlock him. I also noticed a huge difference in that left bend. It's not perfect but considerably better! Nice work. Sometimes he would get you and lean on your left, but I think the head and neck bending will help with that. We will revisit this is a bit. I liked how much you worked left. By 7:00 you stayed on your circle. I want that to happen in the warm up phase too. You do not get to come off of a circle until you have the relation and bend. THEN you can go straight (but only while he holds it). The moment he loses it you make him go back on the circle.
I have to bend left??????
The left bend to the belly in the saddle is currently non existent. He gets very anxious and locked under saddle and this results in no give in the neck. Once I got this feed back, I have been emphasizing the bend and give on the ground. I have one pissed off pony. He is only allowed to have treats if he bends his head to his belly on the left side. It is not a flexibility problem, because he can reach clear around to his hip without a problem. It is a mental game with him (as always). Secondly, he has been getting a lot of lunging and ground work where he has to bend to the left. Another trouble spot is the walking 10 m circle for warm up. Walking is very uncommon and I am trying to work on it, but I need to get him to relax under saddle first. No progress has been made here.
The two point may be interesting. The last time I tried to do two point, my ankle was still too unstable. I am going to try it and see what happens. I have a feeling my weak core is going to be glaring here. I have been compensating and using my hips to regulate the pace and I haven't quite figured out the half halt when I am in two point.
Quite honestly, I have no idea what makes me more centered in my energy means, but I will try to maintain that. I think the left bend will be better with all the ground work I have done this week. I still haven't ridden him this week. I was going to ride tonight, but I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark if that tells you anything about the day. The circle instruction will be easy to follow. We do have steering.
My to do list:
More left bend
Nose to belly
Continue to give and maintain body control
Canter in two point (transition included)
Add in one loop serpentines
Barn cat spam!!!
They work really hard. The yellow one is Twitchy (my fav)